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Electoral Act Amendment: Let political parties decide on primaries, CAN tells National Assembly

Senate

By Luminous Jannamike

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has said only the political parties should retain the right to settle the question of whether the candidates they field for elections should emerge through direct or indirect primaries.

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The General Secretary of CAN, Barrister Joseph Daramola, said this in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja.

He said, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has lauded the Senate for making a U-turn on its earlier position not to allow the use of electronic voting and transmission in the coming elections in the country.

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“The Senate has rescinded its decision on some clauses in the Electoral Amendment Bill that was passed in July especially clause 52 which deals with the methods of voting and collation of results in an election.

“The Upper Chamber has amended the clause to let the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), determine the use of electronic voting and transfer of results.

“We recall the uproar and the controversy that the July decision generated and we commend the leadership of the Senate for being sensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. That is the beauty of democracy. The more the government does this, the better for our nation.

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“We advise President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful by signing the amendment Bill to law as soon as he receives it.

“We, however, call on the two chambers to let political parties decide how their candidates will emerge instead of imposing Direct Primaries on them.”

Daramola further urged INEC, the Federal government, the security agencies, the political parties and the Non-Governmental Organisations to work together to ensure credible, free and fair polls in the country.

“The situation where courts decide those occupying our political offices is totally unacceptable, reprehensible and disheartening. If by now our democracy is still a baby, Nigeria would not be regarded as a serious country in the comity of nations,” he added.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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